Did you set some goals for 2010 and how close were you to meeting them? If you set some New Year’s resolutions did they make it past January or have them become engrained and habit? Was your list so long that it was always going to be unachievable?
Or was never for real, like the “Never again” statements after a hard night’s drinking?
A great quote that has stuck with about commitment is:
“Commitment is doing the thing you said you were going to do, long after the emotion you said it in has left you”.
So how did I do? Well, last year I set 3:
– write a work-related blog a week, partially talking about Nimbus and process but also cloud and improv
– give $10 in cash per week to a needy person who is making some effort – busking, selling the Big Issue etc
– watch 1 inspirational video per week, such as TED
Looking back I have pretty much delivered on all 3 of them. So looking back is a great feeling. You might say that I set low goals. But low goals achieved are better than no goals at all.
And who said they are low? Today was my highest number of visitors to this blog, which is more than the first 4 months of visitors combined. The first few months were very hard. For my birthday I was given a t-shirt which read “More people have read this t-shirt than your blog”. Harsh but fair.
I have watched and shared some truly inspirational videos some of which you can see on this blog.
And finally, the more money I give away to charity the more I seem to have in my bank account.
So go and judge your own goals before trashing mine. And on that note let’s think about goals for next year. Every year the Confident Club put out their thoughts on New Year’s resolutions to a select group of their clients. As I whole heartedly agree with them, I thought I’d share them with you.
How to be the same old failure in the New Year
New Year’s Eve… It’s one minute to midnight… You’re thinking one or all of the following:
– Who can I kiss?
– Who can I avoid kissing?
– How much champagne is left?
– What does “Should auld acquaintance be forgot for the sake of auld lang syne” actually mean?
How come I never get invited to any parties? Just me and Jules Holland on TV again? I’m a sad loser? I must set some New Year’s Resolutions.
Now let us consider that last thought. Here are the top ten most popular New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Get a life. A recent poll shows that 97% of people lead lives of quiet desperation. Then die. And are quite pleased.
2. Get fit. Regular exercise has been associated with more health benefits than anything else known to man. That’s why we hate it.
3. Lose weight. 55% of adults are overweight. 45% of adults point and laugh at the other 55%.
4. Quit smoking. On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good. By which time, because of their massive mood swings, they have no friends left and so start smoking again through intense loneliness.
5. Enjoy life more. 90% vow to make this the year to appreciate life itself. And wear flowers in their hair.
6. Quit drinking. For many this really gets in the way of resolution five.
7. Get out of debt. 11 people out of 10 believe money will solve their problems. They also struggle with fractions.
8. Make money. See above.
9. Save money. Ditto.
10. Get organised. Just where is that important tax return? Is it under paper mountain one, two or twelve? Can’t someone invent a kind of metal detector thing but for important documents?
And here are the top ten reasons why people fail to keep their New Year Resolutions. It’s important you don’t read, or understand any of them, if you want to keep that wonderful feeling of underachievement you get from falling at the first hurdle, year after sorry year.
1. Limiting beliefs. Beliefs control all of your behaviours. If you don’t change these nothing will change. For example, if you believe money is the root of all evil, it is.
2. No strong reason why. Most people get started with the when* or the how but what matters most is the why. Membership of health and fitness clubs quadruple in January. Most people stop going by March. Because the only reason why they had was something they resolved to do on a whim at 11.59pm on December 31st.
3. Not knowing your values.We need to move in line with the things that are most important to us. If the reason you are doing something isn’t important to you, if it doesn’t align with your values, it will be hard to stay motivated.
4. No vision. What will success look, sound and feel like say a year from now? Most sabotage their New Year’s Resolutions by not creating a crystal clear picture of their future success and playing it back over and over again inside their head.
5. No clearly defined goal. If your goal is wishy washy so will be your results. Which is best: “I want to lose lots of blubber” or “I will be my ideal weight of 12st by 1st August by losing 3oz a day”?
6. Not involving others. There is no successful person on the planet who has achieved anything on their own. Life is a team game.
7. Not taking personal responsibility. “People are as happy as they make up their minds to be” so spoke Abraham Lincoln. I know it’s hard to believe but you got yourself into this mess and until you take personal responsibility to get out of it you will be forever stuck in the mire blaming everyone but yourself for your misfortune.
8. Not taking massive action. “After all is said and done more is said than done.” Need I say more.
9. No measurement of results. Feedback is the breakfast of champions- whatever that means. If you don’t regularly monitor and measure your progress, get quality feedback and develop flexibility on the journey towards your goal you will never reach it.
10. Not taking time to celebrate the little wins along the way. If you don’t break your goal down into bite sized chunks and give yourself a little pat on the back every time you enjoy progress, no matter how small, you will feel overwhelmed and under motivated.
* By the way, New Year is a crap time to decide to change your life for the better. The one and only reason you have for doing it then is that it’s a tradition. First started by the Babylonians who celebrated New Year’s Day over four thousand years ago, although their celebration was in March rather than in January, coinciding with the spring planting of crops. The Babylonians still quit going to the gym in droves in April.
And in the spirit of Wikileaks transparency I will share next year’s resolutions on this blog in the New Year.